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EU Court Rules In Favor Of Easing Gay And Bisexual Blood Donation Restrictions

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An EU court of justice ruled in favor of easing restrictions that keep gay and bisexual men from donating blood reports expatica.com. The court reviewed the case of a French gay man who protested the ban on his blood in 2009 and came to the conclusion that a French blood ban introduced in 1983 during the HIV/AIDS crisis potentially violates EU's principle of "non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation." However, the court also ruled that a ban against "high risk" men may be justified depending on the situation:

"It must be established whether those persons are at a high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases, such as HIV, and that there are no effective detection techniques or less onerous methods for ensuring a high level of health protection for recipients."

The EU court noted that if new testing methods can guarantee donated blood is free of infectious disease, then a ban may no longer be necessary. The French government reviewed a proposal to end the ban in April with many LGBT activists saying the blood ban stigmatizes the homosexual community. 

Britain ceased its ban in 2011 and the U.S. followed suit late last year but with the stipulation that men donating blood remain abstinent for a full year. LGBT activists have called the stipulation unrealistic and garnered the attention of U.S. politicians who are urging the Federal Drug Administration to develop concrete policies based on reputable science.


FDA Approves New Pill Combo Treatment For HIV Patients

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 6.15.05 AMThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new tool in the fight against HIV with a two once-daily, fixed dose combination of pills utilizing previously approved single drugs Evotaz and Prezcobix reports hivplusmag.com. The combination of the protease inhibitor darunavir and boosting agent cobicistat, which raises the level of other antiretroviral drugs in the bloodstream, is what creates Prezcobix. Karen Tashima, a professor of medicine in infectious diseases with Brown University and one of the key lead investigators in a study that led to Prezcobix’s approval, explained the relevance of this new development.

Said Tashima:

"This approval gives physicians the option of a Darunavir-based, fixed-dose combination tablet to treat adults living with the HIV-1 infection, which can help reduce the number of pills in their overall treatment regimen. Additional options remain an important medical priority to meet the diverse needs of those living with and managing this disease."

Evotaz assists in boosting Prezcobix's effectiveness, performing well in a 602-patient clinical trial with sustained effectiveness and safety over a 48-week period. Although a functional cure for the infectious disease is still being researched, several preventative and new treatment methods are steadily developing including a new discovery of a rarely occurring antibody produced within the body of HIV positive people, called 3BNC117, that reduces viral loads without the help of antiretroviral drugs. Early tests have shown that a single injection of the antibody into positive patients' (those who don't produce the rare antibody) dramatically decreased their viral loads and remained low for 28 days.


8 Cold Remedies That Scientifically Work: VIDEO

ASAP Science Cold

I could have used this video last week when I was bedridden for a good two or three days solid.

The boys at ASAPScience have put together a rundown of the eight cold remedies that not only work but also have a verifiable scientific basis for why they do so. Chicken soup makes the cut, of course, but so do honey and garlic, and even though AirBorne is a snake oil preventative, vitamin C actually does help decrease the duration and severity of the illness that ails you.

You can start putting together your cold-buster grocery list when you watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "8 Cold Remedies That Scientifically Work: VIDEO" »


Rand Paul Was A Longtime Member Of AIDS-Denialist Medical Group

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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is a legitimate medical doctor, specifically an ophthalmologist. He is, however, not an epidemiologist, which would explain in part why he's made an utter fool of himself in the discussion of vaccines. What explains it further is that Paul was once a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group founded in the 40's to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine," as The New Civil Rights Movement points out.

The group, which is still in existence, got an early start on the anti-vaccination movement and said in a 2007 press release that it "promised to do everything it can to support parents who refuse to immunize their children" because they too believed that vaccines cause autism. Also among the group's beliefs: HIV doesn't cause AIDS.

An advisor to Paul, Doug Stafford, tried to spin some damage control to BuzzFeed, telling them "he didn’t know if Paul was still a member of the group but that he joined because it was a group of pro-life doctors. He said Paul does not endorse all the group’s views."

Stafford neglected to say which views, precisely, the Senator does not endorse.


Bishop Hyperventilates Over Catholic Hospital Giving Equality To Gay Employees

St Louis Archdiocese

Mercy Health employs over 40,000 individuals over seven states in its Catholic health care system, so to better meet the needs of all of their employees they have announced that they "will extend benefits to all legally married spouses effective this spring." Which includes legally married gay spouses.

Bishop James V. Johnston of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in Missouri went apoplectic over the decision and wasted no time in going forward with unrestrained hyperbole, saying:

Bishop James V JohnstonNo believing Christian worthy of the name should violate God’s law because of ‘regulations.’ Our ancestors refused to abandon the faith even when subjected to the cruelty and torture of the Roman Empire, but in our age unspecified ‘regulations,’ government funds, and fear of public ridicule is sufficient in order to secure the compliance of some.

Johnston remarkably refrained from invoking Godwin's Law. The Archdiocese of St. Louis was marginally more restrained:

It is simply inconsistent to claim to be a Catholic institution while publicly acting against Church teaching.

The Archdiocese did not mention how providing legal - not religious - recognition to same sex couples and the attendant benefits and protections is acting against Church teaching. Unless the Church teaching is to make life miserable for all nonbelievers, which seems to be sort of the opposite of the teachings of the Bible.


Janet Porter Will Suffer Headaches To Spite LGBT Support: AUDIO

Janet Porter

Janet Porter of Faith 2 Action, a far right social conservative activist group, has been suffering no shortage of headaches since her failed attempts to spread the Texas GOP's ex-gay therapy resolution last summer, what with the march of progress and all that, but she is willing to suffer through them without any relief in order to spite Tylenol and their pro-LGBT corporate stance.

Said Porter after seeing the new Tylenol ad that features a lesbian couple:

Their campaign to redefine the family is giving me a headache–but I won’t be taking Tylenol. 

We’ve all seen the beautiful Norman Rockwell paintings of a family around the Thanksgiving table. Well now, Tylenol is trying to normalize two lesbians, an ex-husband, and another adult acting as parents. The voiceover says, “Our definition of family is now expanding and blossoming so it’s not this rigid, fixed picture…”

Apparently the ideal of a mom and a dad is too rigid for Tylenol. They want to blossom into some kind of group marriage that reflects the desires of adults instead of what every shred of social science research shows is best for children.

No Tylenol, we’re not swallowing the lie.

And thus are the standard flawed talking points addressed:

  • Pining for a banal, saccharine ideal that never existed
  • Vilifying same-sex couples as abnormal
  • Asserting that since Tylenol is pro-LGBT they therefore must be anti-heteronormative
  • Ignoring family research that finds that the gender and orientation of parents has no adverse effect on children
  • And - as always - "forgetting" that not every family has or even wants children in the mix 

You can listen to the crazy below:


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